Back when cell phones were first invented, they served one main purpose: making calls. Those who were willing to cough up an arm and a leg were fortunate enough to place a phone call from nearly anywhere at any time. Luckily, times have changed and phones are no longer the size of a decent brick or no longer require carrying around an enormous, weighty bag.

Lucky for me, I skipped over those times and was introduced to the cell phone world as it is today, for the most part. My first smartphone was a BlackBerry and it definitely wasn't limited to just making phone calls. I could text message someone, send emails, browse the Internet (at breakneck 2G/3G BlackBerry speeds), and install applications and games on my phone.

It's almost crazy looking back just a few years ago to see how far we've come in such a short time. But the features and capabilities aren't the only changes the cell phone has experienced; the way they are used in everyday life has completely changed, too.

Back when I was going through my Best Buy Mobile training, we were handed a couple sheets of statistics and poll results that had recently been taken. Seeing as it was nearly two years ago, I can't remember the exact figures, but what the papers entailed were the results of studies that said people are using their cell phones and smartphones less and less for calling and that it has been on a decline for some time. This is only one of the several studies that has been done; I'm positive other results show similar trends.

In all honesty, these results should hardly come as a surprise. The way we stay connected has entirely changed and the simple fact is that it isn't always convenient to call someone. Instead, it can be much quicker and easier to shoot somebody a text message rather than getting on the phone, working through several minutes of unrelated and meaningless banter just to ask a simple question.

What's even more sad is that sometimes it's easier to open up the Facebook app and send someone a message or open a chat with them to get a quick answer. Or if it's work-related, sending an email saves both me and the recipient a ton of time. I use calling as a last resort.

It's just extremely ironic that the devices that were originally invented to enable us to make calls from anywhere at any time have evolved into tools that we commonly use for everything but making calls. I have two different lines with two different wireless providers and on a monthly basis, my minutes used rarely exceed 50 minutes. It's probably much lower than that on average. This is simply because I use almost every other way of communicating before I will call someone.

That said, some claim that this decline in voice calling is a result of the recent attention radiation emittance of cell phones has gotten. (Get out your tin foil hats, folks.) This has always been around and will probably always be around when it comes to cell phones. Reporters have just done a much better job of making it known lately. We've been using cell phones for countless years now. The FCC has strict guidelines when it comes to radiation emittance and will not pass a phone if it fails those tests. At least that should make you feel a little better, right?

Whether you believe one reason or the other ... or both, it doesn't really matter. Fact is, voice calls are declining and everything else is flourishing, even video calling, despite how inconvenient that actually is. The good news is (especially for those that are still heavy callers), while other things like text messaging and data plans prices rise and move towards tiered structures, this trend could lead to the lowering of calling plans and rates across the board.

So tell me, PhoneDogs, do you still use your phone for calling? Or do you find yourself using your phone for everything else and making the occasional call when all else fails? Also, (a bit off topic here, but I'm curious) do you leave voicemails when you call and get no answer? Or do you hang up and fire off a text, like me?

Don't forget to VOTE! Each week, PhoneDog Fans vote for their #1 smartphone in the Official Smartphone Rankings. Vote now and contribute to the industry's most relevant weekly ranking charts

Related posts

Comments & discussions  

62 Reactions to this post

"Is talking on your cell phone a thing of the past?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
Thanks for your participation! :)

Paris Coke yes, i hate talking on the phone, even with the girls i talk to. calling is reserved for business, anything else should be a text!!!!!
Ali Khan I barely talk on the phone ever... I hate making calls n receiving them, its just easier to text :P
Katherine Rich Talking is just as (or more) important to me than texting. I like being able to hear the people I care about when I am far away at college or something.
AyriQah Bacla-an Cuasito Phone calls are still important.
Tony Abiama It's definitely used more for data/music than anything. I text quite a bit and I talk at least 15-20 minutes a day on my Evo. But data access takes the cake for me... its my mini computer (typed from my Evo as well)
Nic Kolas Kinda, I mostly txt but I do think a good old fashion phone call is better
Donovan Rashad Johnson I only call ppl when i have something worth talking about. I text to say hi and check up on friends
Cooper Treibel I don't have calling on my phone plan, just texting
Devlin Robear I barely use it for talking, use it a little for texting, and use it A LOT for the internet.
Marti Ruiz I use oly 50 minutes a month
Michelle DeRosa I still use my land line to talk, only talk on my cell when I'm out of my home. Cell phones are dangerous I do believe they have to much radiation.
Kent Masias Yea, still use it for business
Israel Leiva Blame all the nut case invetors from the 1950's. They destroyed our society and social life with all these distractions. We are now living their vision of "The Jetsons" and "Star Trek" era. Damn Technology. LOL
Sunny Patel Ya pretty much
Eric Alan Holloway I actually use my personal cell phone very little and when I do have time to use it is to text the kids. So far this year I have made about 20 calls and maybe about 90 texts. At work I am on the phone or answering e-mails about half the work day that I do not want to see them again until the next day, except of course to check out a few things on FB before I call it a night.
Bg IPhan both of importnt...!
Brandon Thompson I hate talking...only like texting
Ben Bartholomew The internet's destroying peoples social skills, so yeah pretty much.
Ryan Wilson I don't think so. Calls are still a very important feature for any adult who wants to be taken seriously. Doing nothing but texting is extremely informal and very unprofessional. If you're able to get by with only texts, your conversations are either not very important or important messages lose their value due to your chosen method of delivery.
Carolyn Powdrill I would rather talk than text. you can't express feelings in the alphabet.
Glenn Rubio Urrea Yes. Apparently, so is grammar and writing skills.
Maria Mercedes Marte Lapaix Please, of course not.
Darryl Mouzone I text more than I talk. I rarely use over 100 minutes a month because I mostly text. Even when I do call somebody I'm not on the phone longer than 10 minutes unless it's someone that lives out of state. I'd rather talk to someone face to face than on the phone anyway.
Stiven Cabrera What's a phone call?
Gerard Hyacinthe Haven't had a land line in 8 years. I only use about 300 out of 1000 minutes a month. The rest is chat, text, or Facebook. Unless I'm mackin' on a female i can't stand yapping on the phone.
Israel Leiva Who wants to hear ANYONE running their mouth for over 5 minutes anyway? Send an e-mail!!! Smh
Israel Leiva Don't call it a phone. It's an Android powered portable computer & multi-media device. ;-)
Hector Sedeño I text quite a bit. I do it more than I talk, but if it is important and/or need a response right away then I would definitely call the person.
Philip Kumai It seems to be headed that way especially when you see people have full conversations via text instead of calling. People seem to have lost the fine art of vocal conversation.
Alex Ochoa Yes it is
Eric Gunderlach txting is nice but people who dont talk and only text are only hurting themselves. People lose so many social skills by communicating strictly by text. stop and look around. its true. its pathetic
Eric Wright I usually only make a call to a business to ask a question, but believe me if I could text a restaurant or bar to find out when their happy hour starts or ask a quick question, I would lol! Hahahaha.
Chris Rodriguez I hate having extended convo over the phone, no more than 30 mins for me
Chris Lee 3 minutes left for this service cycle. Start new service cycle tomorrow. So no it's far from being a thing of the past for me.
Al Waisman You can actually talk on them? LOL
Jose Leo Padin Last month i talked 17 minutes and used 2389 text messages for me talking on the phone is only when needed texting is an everyday thing
Chris Mcnug Michniewicz duh yes haha why dont they have only texting plans?
James Ramos TEXTING should ONLY be done if you're busy at work, a meeting, or something important. Apparently, girls abused TEXTING during EVERYTHING on the daily so much that the government were forced to make some STRICT laws about it. People are always making something so useless a phenomenon. Sadly, it's the new bandwagon. Oh, and if we're negotiating or purchasing something from someone then why are you texting me? CALL me. Business is done face to face or over the phone. I hate when this happens and this just slows down your money big time making a 5 minute phone call lasts an hour due to texting.
Jay Payne Then video chat.
Tim Davis I spend about 3000 minutes a month on my phone.. Mostly for work but I still need to connect with my customers in a more personal way than an email or text.
Anh-Tuan Le No. As long as people still talk on their iPhone, it is still a cool and hip thing to do.
Mathew Merriman Texting is starting to get overrated .
Andy Austin somewhat, I make probably one or two calls a day. It's way to get quick response with a call.
Jennifer Lynn Rodriques yes it is I text more then I talk
Skylor Mitchell Only if you aren't doing "professional work" or need to get info from someone quicker than by testing/e-mailing them.
Amere Abdul Rahim For the most part. Its easy to misinterpret what someone is saying through texting... Whether they're angry or not...
Adam Brewington Not yet. I still make a few calls a month. But for the most part, all I do is text.
Adrian Fabrizi try third :P and im forth!
Hansel Starley I don't think so. At least not yet.
Casey Hawes Second
Everett C W Byrd No, texting is always less formal because the words hold less weight / lack context / emotion. OP is trollin'
Mike Guzman very much so.

Most popular Videos
Most popular Videos
Most popular Videos

Most popular Reactions
Most popular Reactions
Most popular Reactions

This weeks "People's Choice Rankings" best smartphones
People's Choice Rankings

See all hot devices